Fabulous Floral Flora

Floral Flora Dress

Cheeeeeers!!! For us Scottish teachers, it’s now officially the summer holidays! Woooooooooop woooooop! They are finally here and I couldn’t be happier. It’s been a very difficult year at school and I’m so grateful to have some time to catch my breath, gather my thoughts, spend some awesome quality time with my family and friends, properly clean my flat and generally re-charge!

As well as it being the summer holidays, it’s also wedding season. I’ve been invited to a few weddings this summer, the first of which yesterday. My good friends were married in Edinburgh at Dynamic Earth. It’s such a wonderful wedding venue: it’s open, airy, it overlooks Arthur’s Seat, it’s very central, the rooms are lovely, you get to wander around the sciency bit after hours with booze in hand AND there’s a terrace that you can sneak away to so you can stand outside in the sun whilst you sip champers and gin. Perfect.

Disclaimer: I totally take Edinburgh for granted and forgot to take a pic. Nicked this one! Source: http://inzumi.com/en/travel/point-of-interest/d_id/Edinburgh/c_id/Sightseeing/p_id/Our-Dynamic-Earth

Floral Flora Dress

Sipping champagne with my husband on said terrace.

So, as you’ve probably guessed from the floral number in the photos above, I decided to make a dress for the occasion. I bought By Hand London’s Flora pattern a while ago after silently creeping around a few sewing blogs and BHL’s awesome Pinterest board. I was dubious though because it’s not the style I’d normally wear. The coupling of high neck line and exposed arms was terrifying for me. I HATE my arms. I always have. I think that in itself is the problem: I have always hated them so in my head it follows that I always will. I need to get out of that mindset. Despite this though, I made it and I’m so, so, SO glad that I did!

Floral Flora Dress

Floral Flora Dress

Construction-wise, it was so unbelievably easy to put together. I figured it would be because I found Anna and Elisalex to be the same. After looking at the sewalong posts and knowing from past experience that BHL’s patterns fit me really well straight out of the packet, I decided to just cut my main fabric.

The fabric is from The Cloth Shop and I bought it for just under £20. It was £11.99 a metre, with 20% off. You can buy it online here if you’re interested! I love that they often have random sales! It’s quite thick cotton with a tiny bit of stretch, which I think is great for adding a tiny bit of drama to the circle.

Floral Flora Dress

The bodice was very simple to put together and I managed to sew it up in a very short space of time. Unfortunately I didn’t have any colour appropriate lining in my stash (which is very strange!) so I just decided to go for a green polycotton instead. Hmm… it sort of goes. The straps were the only fiddly bit, but I reckon after one attempt at them, I’m now a total pro and next time will be much easier.

Floral Flora Dress

The skirt is glorious. I absolutely love it! I’ve always struggled with a circle skirt because my 31 inch waist is apparently a bit too chunky according to Google. I’ve always found myself trying to follow tutorials that require me to cut it out of lots of bits of fabric, or which requires maths skills that I simply don’t possess/haven’t used since Higher Maths circa 2001. However, this circle skirt was so easy. SO, SO EASY! I’m actually glad I bought the pattern just for this skirt. It’s brilliant and I plan to attach it to everything! AND I plan to make a couple just as skirts.

Floral Flora Dress

The only thing that I found tricky with this dress was hemming the skirt. I followed the BHL guide, which was really clear, but I think the fact that my fabric had a tiny bit of stretch made it a tad more difficult. As such, the hem is a bit wonky, but it’s hopefully obscured by the fullness of the skirt. In the past, when people complimented my handmade clothes, I’d immediately point out the flaws but I’ve managed to resist with this one. I’ve managed to avoid saying: ‘Thanks! But LOOOK at this hem, it’s so wobbly and shit!’ And instead, replied with some variation of: ‘Thanks very much. I really like it too.’ Gah. So. Difficult.

Anyway, I love this pattern. While I will always wear the dress with a cardi (unless I’m in a country where no one knows my name), it’s such a perfect fit and I already have in mind many other versions and variations.

Floral Flora Dress

Laters, pals! 


  1. What a beautiful dress and lovely colours – it really suits you and i can’t see any evidence of a wobby hem! I may need to investigate this pattern.
    Enjoy your summer.

  2. Thanks Linda! You definitely should. I can’t wait to wear it again. Have a lovely summer x

  3. Your dress is gorgeous!

  4. This dress is so beautiful! Such a perfect fit, lucky you no alterations.

  5. Thanks. I’ve worn it so many times already!

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